Happy, Happy


Today is my last day in the library for the school year. I’ll still be at school organizing the library for next year, helping the teachers with end-of-year projects, and reading to a couple of classes. This year has been an inspiring, life-changing year. I am hugely satisfied by any opportunity to learn and self reflect, and volunteering in the library allowed me to do that in spades. Here are some of the things I’ve learned this year.

  • I learned that teachers work really hard.
  • I learned that it is wonderful and rewarding to work with kids.
  • I learned that it is easy to care about children who aren’t yours and to want what is best for them.
  • I learned that finding books appropriate for a school library that satisfy the students, the parents, the administration, and the Diocese is difficult!
  • I learned that most kids just want you to listen to them. A simple “Mmmmm” or “Oh?” is like a balm on chapped skin.
  • I learned that older kids love read alouds.
  • I learned that watching a child fall in love with reading is an adrenalin rush.
  • I learned that I really love organizing books and putting up silly seasonal decor.
  • I learned that I’m a bit insane about which pens I use for various tasks.
  • I learned that Newbery Medal books from 10-20 years ago are often better than the Newbery Medal books from today.
  • I learned that book cover design is very, very important to kids.
  • I learned that boys like violence and girls like romance far earlier than they did at my age.
  • I learned that there are some children you will not inspire, will not reach.
  • I learned that I really like grande-soy mocha frappuccinos with a shot of toffeenut–no whip–way too much.
  • I learned that this is what I was meant to do.
11 Responses to “Happy, Happy”
  1. Hazel says:

    I think you’ve done a fab job- I’ll bet the teaching staff are so pleased you volunteered.

    My children’s school librarian is lovely and has been very supportive of my son in particular (he has ADD which made settling at secondary school a bit of a headache- for me, not him. He was fine :) )
    She has introduced me to Real Reads, a series of classic novels from around the world, rewritten to be accessible to children and to fit into 64 pages. The novels have been simplified to do this, obviously, but they are still great stories.
    My 10 year old had watched so much BBC Pride and Prejudice with me (COLIN FIRTH), she was keen to try the book after I’d re-read it but she tried the Real Read version instead. Knowing the story, she was a bit perturbed by the re-jigging, but it does say at the end what they’ve changed and why. She loved it and is very keen to read some more.
    They’re published by a small UK company, so lots of English classics- Austen, Hardy, Bronte, Dickens- but also plenty of World and Historical Literature. Homer, anyone?http://realreads.co.uk/americanclassics/titles/

    I have no connection to the company, I’m just delighted to find a series of books that doesn’t involve unicorns or vampires…

  2. Kathy says:

    Ha! Way to bury the lead! ;)
    Congratulations on such a meaningful year.

  3. April says:

    You don’t know me, and other than your blog I don’t know you. But I am so, so happy for you. I’ve loved reading about your journey so far. Looking forward to seeing where it takes you from here!

  4. Susan g says:

    I am so happy for you, for the school, and for all those kids who have been and will be listened to, read to, and inspired by you. ( That sentence was way too long!)

  5. Kristy says:

    I love that you have reflected on what you have learned and have taken away from the experience. I have enjoyed hearing about your time in the library and am so glad there is someone out there encouraging children to read and just listening to them.


  6. Missy G. says:

    I’m happy, happy for you!! I absolutely love your library posts; they are truly insightful and inspiring.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations on your school year! I love your library posts and hearing about library life.

    Should we all be so lucky to find what we were meant to do! Mazel Tov!

  8. Kelly S says:

    Jules, I’ve had a very similar learning experience as yours the past 4 months, since I started working as a library aid myself. While mine is a paid position, I envy your autonomy in so many aspects of your decisions in the library. I am very much an “employee” and am sometimes made uncomfortably aware of my very low place on the totem pole, masters degree be damned! ;) But I’m loving my library hours too, and find myself nodding in agreement at your blog & Instagram posts. (I have another week and half in there, myself). Here’s to next year!

  9. Heather P. says:

    So glad to hear you enjoyed your year in the library! It sounds like you AND the children had a great time!

  10. Jo says:

    LOVE that you LOVED your library experience! Sounds like you rocked it.

  11. Jaimie says:

    I am impressed by how much hard work you have put into this position. The world needs volunteers like you! Having said that, I find it a little …. disappointing? Concerning? that if a volunteer such as yourself didn’t have the free time available for this, the position would (I’m assuming) go unfilled. I feel like your job description goes far and above what is usually construed as volunteering.

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Hi! I’m Jules.

I used to be an attorney, but it made me grumpy. Now I write about life, sweet and savory, as a wife and mother to two small boys. My knowledge of dinosaurs knows no bounds.

You can read more, including the meaning behind the name Pancakes and French Fries here. And, yes, I really am phenomenally indecisive.